Author: Kate Ming AutoCAD

Here at Ideate, I’ve been looking over the new features in AutoCAD 2016. One of the new features is the drawing based XREFOVERRIDE variable. You may have noticed that the xref controls are behaving differently in Autocad 2016. This new system variable may be the cause.

What this variable does is give the user the ability to force object properties in xrefs to be set to ByLayer. If you’ve ever had to open up all of your Xref’s to manually change object properties to ByLayer, this variable is going to save you a lot of time.

If you haven’t noticed this change, it is because the default state is set to 0, which is the pre-2016 behavior we are all used to. To turn this variable on, set it to 1. To reiterate, when the variable is set to 1 all objects within an xref’ed drawing will behave as if their properties are set to bylayer. When the variable is set to 0, the objects retain their properties regardless of what you have set as their layer properties. Since this variable is drawing specific, it can be set differently in each drawing.

In the layer panel on the home tab of the ribbon, and in the layer manager dialog box, you can change the properties of the layers. Xref’ed layers will be greyed out, however you can override their original properties here. If the XREFOVERRIDE variable is set to 1, all objects on the xref’ed layer will reflect the layer properties.


Layer Manager


Get more tips and tricks here.

Thank you for reading. For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. hompage.

         Kate Ming
Kate Ming
AEC Application Specialist

Kate is a California licensed civil engineer with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Prior to Ideate, she worked at a multinational company for four years doing general civil design on large infrastructure projects. She is versed in roadway, rail, utility design and site development. She also has experience with utility demand analysis and Low Impact Development plans. As a Civil 3D Autodesk Certified Professional Kate provides training and support for Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and InfraWorks.